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Milan Design Week is dominated by fashion takeovers

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Bottega Veneta x Cassina Le Corbusier at Milan Design Week Credits: FashionUnited

Milan's annual Salone del Mobile furniture and interiors fair has transformed into the premier global design destination. Against the vibrant backdrop of Italy's fashion capital, a plethora of brands and retailers across the design spectrum offer unparalleled experiences, collaborations, activations, events, and, of course, soirées, transforming the city into a veritable creative epicenter that rivals even its illustrious fashion weeks.

While Milan's dynamic Brera district serves as the official hub of design week, events unfolded across diverse neighborhoods, from historic villas and medieval churches curated by top-tier designers, to international brands taking over gallery spaces, hotels, courtyards, pasticcerias, shop windows, and even parks to showcase their innovative ideas.

One key distinction between fashion week and design week is that the latter is open to the public. Designers, architects, interior decorators, retailers, fashion brands, and creators of all disciplines descend on Milan, making it an inclusive hub of all things design. While fashion week may surpass design week in revenue and attract a larger global audience through media coverage, advertising, and sponsorships, Milan's Design Week has steadily grown in popularity and economic impact over the years, driven by increased interest in interiors, architecture, and innovation in furniture and home accessories.

This explains why brands such as Hermes, Saint Laurent, Loro Piana, Prada, Gucci, Missoni, Etro, Thom Browne, Bottega Veneta, Armani, and Loewe are vying for new audiences using a template of breathtaking exhibitions and curated spaces to become major attractions on the week’s calendar.


At Gucci, its Ancora campaign extended to limited edition design pieces celebrating iconic Italian midcentury furniture and craftsmanship, including a sofa by Bellini, a Venini vase, and lamp by Castiglioni. Executed in the new Ancora Gucci red, pieces are limited to 100 of each design, with vase prices starting at 2,500 euros and a sofa from 20,000 euros.

Gucci x Bellini sofa at Milan Design Week Credits: FashionUnited


At Hermes, which took over a vast space at La Pelota, a dark floor installation of traditional wabi patterns using raw materials such as brick, stone, slate, wood, and compacted earth depicted a jockey’s silk jersey. Hidden behind a partition was a darkly-lit display ledge showcasing pieces from Hermes’ past and present, from brass cigarette holders from the 1960s to blankets, a vintage jockey shirt, new furniture, and even a hunting whip.

Hermes at Milan Design Week Credits: FashionUnited

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent found inspiration in Italian architect Gio Ponti, reissuing 12 original porcelain plates designed by Ponti in 1957 for Villa Planchart in Venezuela, in collaboration with Ginori 1735, at the Chiostri di San Simpliciano.

Saint Laurent x Gio Ponti at Milan Design Week Credits: FashionUnited


Loewe's installation focused on lighting design, exhibiting lamps for Salone del Mobile 2024 featuring new commissions from 24 international artists, including previous finalists and winners of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize. The exhibition showcased distinct perspectives, materials, and craft practices to create unexpected interactions with light at the Palazzo Citterio and select pieces at the brand’s Montenapoleone store.

Loewe Lamp Installation at Milan Design Week Credits: FashionUnited

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta unveiled the iconic LC14 tabouret, or stool, originally designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and reimagined by creative director Matthieu Blazy at the brand's newest headquarters, Palazzo San Fedele. Named ‘On the Rocks’, the limited edition set of just 100 pieces are available for purchase at 2,500 euros. Crafted using Bottega Veneta’s Intreccio weaving technique, a special brushwork technique gives the leather a vintage texture, with prices starting at 12,000 euros for the limited edition pieces.

Bottega Veneta x Cassina Le Corbusier at Milan Design Week Credits: FashionUnited
Bottega Veneta
Saint Laurent
Salone Del Mobile